IAN HERBERT: The memory of our golden summer has been tarnished

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IAN HERBERT: The memory of our golden summer has been tarnished as UKAD’s credibility is shattered – their brevity should anger EVERY British athlete at the 2012 London Olympics

  • UKAD’s brevity must have been a source of anger for British athletes from the 2012 Games onwards
  • The credibility of UKAD, which maintains the sanctity of sport, is being shattered
  • Whatever happens, UKAD has tarnished the glorious memories of 2012

UK Anti-Doping responded with a 40-word statement to the revelations that their former legal director tipped British Cycling about a drug offense, had a quiet conversation with an unaccredited lab about its scientists conducting a discreet investigation of the sport – and then never bothered to check the outcome.

Out of the ordinary. Actually unbelievable. That brevity should be a source of anger for any British athlete who competed in the 2012 London Olympics.

Because if that UKAD guy, Graham Arthur, was so malleable and helpful to British Cycling about an irregular nandrolone result in 2010, how do we know he didn’t react the same way in other sports?

We will never be able to see that golden summer of the 2012 Olympics in the same way again

We will never be able to see that golden summer of the 2012 Olympics in the same way again

It is public that Arthur was banned from UKAD in 2016 after a review found that he had failed to notify the General Medical Council that a Harley Street doctor, Mark Bonar, would have provided performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.

The credibility of UKAD, a body supposed to uphold the sanctity of sport, is shattered. First we have Arthur allowing British Cycling to investigate itself.

Then let him agree in an email in January 2011 to speak with the boss of the HFL lab in Cambridgeshire about giving the green light to an off-the-books test of three elite cyclists.

The BC management team involved in the testing at the time were performance director Dave Brailsford (L), performance manager Shane Sutton (C) and psychologist Steve Peters (R)

The BC management team involved in the testing at the time were performance director Dave Brailsford (L), performance manager Shane Sutton (C) and psychologist Steve Peters (R)

The BC management team involved in the testing at the time were performance director Dave Brailsford (L), performance manager Shane Sutton (C) and psychologist Steve Peters (R)

The same HFL lab was stripped of its international accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2007 for declaring food products it had examined as ‘WADA approved’ when it wasn’t.

And if the results from the Cambridgeshire lab don’t clear the cloud of suspicion surrounding the first suspicious result, we don’t have a follow-up from Arthur. A free pass for cycling.

What we needed to hear from UKAD – after the Mail on SundayThe probe prompted WADA’s announcement that it was going to conduct an investigation – was that urgent efforts would be made to speak to Arthur and his contemporaries.

That files and emails would be examined to determine if there were other occasions where the Cambridgeshire lab had been used.

The best we can hope for right now is a quick and thorough WADA investigation into the issue

The best we can hope for right now is a quick and thorough WADA investigation into the issue

The best we can hope for right now is a quick and thorough WADA investigation into the issue

Instead, those 40 skinny words contain the claim that UKAD is ‘investigating archives’ – when they were told in January 2019 that this cozy chat took place between Arthur and the four guys from British Cycling. Plenty of time to get to the archives.

The 2019 whistleblower’s evidence also means that UKAD cannot argue that this episode – which does not give British sport the right to dismiss the Russians for their state-sponsored cheating – is not on their watch.

The best we can hope for right now is a quick, thorough WADA investigation. But no matter what happens next, UKAD has tarnished the memory of 2012. We will never be able to see that golden summer in the same way again.

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